Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Pondimin (fenfluramine hydrochloride) is an anorectic drug used to manage exogenous obesity as a short-term (a few weeks) adjunct in a regimen of weight reduction based on caloric restriction. The brand name Pondimin is discontinued in the U.S., but generic versions may be available. Common side effects of Pondimin (fenfluramine hydrochloride) include:
- dry mouth,
- trouble sleeping (insomnia),
- false sense of well-being,
- rapid heartbeat,
- nervousness, or
The usual dose of Pondimin is one 20 mg tablet three times daily before meals. Depending on the degree of effectiveness and side effects, the dosage may be increased at weekly intervals by one tablet (20 mg) daily until a maximum dosage of two tablets three times daily is attained. Pondimin may interact with antihypertensive drugs, and other CNS depressant drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Pondimin should be used only if prescribed. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Pondimin (fenfluramine hydrochloride) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Central nervous system: Dizziness; confusion; incoordination; headache; elevated mood; depression; anxiety, nervousness, or tension; insomnia; weakness or fatigue; increased or decreased libido; agitation, dysarthria.
Drug Abuse and Dependence
Pondimin (fenfluramine hydrochloride) is a controlled substance in Schedule IV. Fenfluramine is related chemically to the amphetamines, although it differs somewhat pharmacologically. The amphetamines and related stimulant drugs have been extensively abused and can produce tolerance and severe psychological dependence, as well as other adverse organic and mental changes. In this regard, there has been a report of abuse of fenfluramine by subjects with a history of abuse of other drugs. Abuse of 80 to 400 milligrams of the drug has been reported to be associated with euphoria, derealization, and perceptual changes. Fenfluramine did not produce signs of dependence in animals and appears to produce sedation more often than CNS stimulation at therapeutic doses. Its abuse potential appears qualitatively different from that of amphetamines. The possibility that fenfluramine may induce dependence should be kept in mind when evaluating the desirability of including the drug in the weight reduction programs of individual patients.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Pondimin (Fenfluramine - Removed from US Market)